The Lord is My Shepherd

Copyright: spetenfia lamb with shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd–There is nothing I want or need more than you, Lord.

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He provides for me and gives me peace beyond my comprehension.

He leads me beside quiet waters. Like streams in the desert, my Lord gives me peace in the midst of conflict and worldly stress.

He refreshes my soul. In His presence, in the quiet of the morning, He holds me close. He gives me strength and boldness for the day.

He guides me along the right paths for His names sake. As I seek Him, I find Him on the path of life. He teaches me deep things from His word that I apply to every-day circumstances.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, the valley of the shadow of death, I am not afraid because I know He is with me.

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. I have confidence as God leads me along right paths. Even if I wander, He is faithful to find me and set my feet on solid ground. Thank you, Lord.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Sometimes I think I cannot bear the conflict or persecution, but you are always with me, encouraging me, making me strong.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Your mercies are new every morning, more than I can imagine but just what I need–not just for me but enough that spills over into the lives of those you give me.

I know your goodness and love will be with me all the days of my life. This is something I testify about to others so they might have the same assurance I do.

The best part is knowing I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. I will live in your presence and experience your love and mercy today and into eternity.


An Unhurried Life?

Janell Stratton Marton in Mountain Bicycle Race

Do you agree we live in a hurry-up and wait world? I am in the habit of over scheduling myself and wondering why I’m so tired. My daughter, Janell Stratton Marton, and her son Luke enjoy mountain bicycle racing. That’s a little faster than I’ve ever dreamed of going. However, my daily to-do list has often been over the top. Yet, I’ve enjoyed checking off accomplishments as I finished them.

In contrast, when I look at the life of Jesus, I can’t imagine Him having a to-do list or a schedule to keep. He allowed interruptions in His ministry. For example, on the way to Jairus’ house to raise his daughter from death, He healed a woman who had been sick for twelve long years. Another time He paused His day to heal a man born blind.

As a mom, school teacher, real estate agent and mountain biker, Janell’s days are scheduled pretty tight, but she allows interruptions if she sees a person in need. As she was leaving a super market one day in a hurry to get home and cook dinner, she saw an older woman who apparently lost her car keys. “Can I help you?” Janell said. Focused on the ground, the woman replied, “I dropped my keys and can’t find them.” Janell said, “I’ll be right back,” and went to her car to get a blanket. She laid down the blanket and crawled under the woman’s car. “Found ’em!” she said. This act of kindness didn’t take but a few minutes before both women were on their way.

The COVID isolation has slowed down my days. The social calendar is not so full, but I find time to kayak or go on boat rides with my husband or spend time with friends. I don’t feel guilty for resting like I used to. In fact, one of my favorite Scriptures is Matthew 11:28-30: Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


Can you imagine what it might be like to be yoked with Jesus? I think it would be an adventure, but not at all stressful. One of the best things I’ve done in my life since I retired was to take off my watch. I’ve never worn one again. What peace! What freedom! My days go smoother because I’m not watching the time. This has freed me to be aware of others who might need my help.


Thank you, Lord, for Jesus and His example of an unhurried life. Teach me to be more like Him. Help me to recognize opportunities, like Janell, to show compassion along the way to wherever I’m going. In Jesus’ name, Amen.